Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | October 24, 2017

Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. Make the process go smoothly by learning from the mistakes others before you have unintentionally made. Doing so will ensure you move into the home of your dreams.

If you’ve never purchased a home before or you’ve taken the plunge many times before, a quick review of these costly pitfalls to avoid will be helpful.

Stay within Your Means. The thrill of shopping for a new house can make anyone giddy. From granite countertops to smart home technology to wine rooms— it is easy to get distracted by all the bells and whistles. Each additional feature increases the cost of the property. Adding an additional $5,000 to your mortgage may seem small, and you may be able to make the monthly payments now. But what happens when you or your spouse change jobs and the level of your income decreases? Or perhaps a medical issue keeps one of you out of work? Avoid the high end of your desired monthly payment to insure you can easily maintain payments no matter what happens in your world.

Assess Your Credit & Get Preapproved. Before you start your house hunt, you need to determine what you can afford. The best way to do this is to review your credit report and get preapproved for a loan. Veterans can reap a lot of benefits by tapping into VA loans; no money down and low-interest rates are attractive. While you’re working with your lender to determine what you can afford, ask about incentives that could help you out. Mortgage preapproval is the prime time to uncover the possibilities that may be available, e.g. waived fees and lower interest rates.

Get it in Writing. As your realtor negotiates the details of your purchase, don’t make assumptions that what is discussed will be remembered or actually happen. If you expect the washers and dryers to stay in the home you’re buying—get it in writing. Review your contract thoroughly before signing to make sure that everything you’ve agreed to will occur. The cost of replacing something, like a refrigerator you thought was staying, can add stress and expenses you don’t need.

Work with a Military-Friendly Agent. You wouldn’t buy a tractor from a car salesman because they aren’t well versed in all the facets about a tractor. Similarly, veterans should work with military-friendly agents who understand the nuances and benefits of VA homebuyers. They understand the importance of strong resale value for quick and profitable resale when you receive the orders to move again. Typically they have served themselves and are passionate about meeting your needs. Most importantly, they understand the unique requirements surrounding VA loans.

OUR-TEAM The Charlotte By The Lake Team  Steve and Janis Lappin

Loves to help people find their home. Steve being a veteran has a heart also to help vets.
You can contact us at  www.charlottebythelake.com

 

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Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | January 28, 2017

Look What Is Happening Here

Charlotte Was Ranked One Of The Best Places To Live In America by US News & World Report

The Queen City is officially one of the top 20 cities to live in the USA, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Our official rank was #15, beating out Atlanta at #61, Tampa at #42, Honolulu at #26, Nashville at #22, and even Charleston at #19.

The publication analysed the top 100 most populous cities in America, by comparing each one’s quality of life, value, job market, desirability and net migration. Charlotte achieved an overall score of 6.9 out of 10 (the #1 city on the list, Denver, only scored a 7.8).

Cornelius Just Approved Adding Over 89 Miles of Bike Lanes And Paths All Around Town

Earlier this month, Cornelius town leaders voted to approve the new Bike Cornelius! master plan, which calls for a vast expansion of bike lanes and educational programs and events throughout the area.

Cornelius now has about 2 miles of on-street bike paths and 6 miles of greenways and cross-through trails. The new Bike Cornelius! plan will expand those numbers to include over 97.4 miles of paths and trails.

It specifically calls for 12 major projects, including five immediate bike paths added on West Catawba, Washam Potts, Westmoreland, Nantz, Hwy 115, Torrence Chapel, and Hwy 21. It also calls for longer term projects include adding bike lanes on Bailey Road to connect to the greenway, and adding cycle tracks to West Catawba included in the new road widening project.

While most residents are in favor of adding new biking options to the town, some proponents argue that adding more bike lanes will only add to the traffic congestion on the town’s already busy roads.

Lake Norman’s Dockside Dining Concept Just Ranked ‘Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2017’

Many people were crushed by the news of the Rusty Rudder closing it’s doors back in September, especially since it was one of the only restaurants in the region to provide boat slips for customers arriving by water.

A few months ago, the Kindred Family, owners of the wildly popular Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, decided to make the old dockside eatery even better.

Their new restaurant concept has now landed on Eater.com’s list of the “16 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2017.”

The website chose 16 of the most exciting new restaurant concepts to open this year – Kindred’s “Hello, Sailor” was the only one to be named in the southeast.

According to Eater.com, “the Kindreds first looked at adding a restaurant in Charlotte but opted instead for the 4,000-square-foot lakefront space. The property also includes a large patio and an additional outdoor bar that will serve as a seasonal tiki bar.”

“We want people to be able to park their boat and grab a quick meal or come with friends and family and linger and share. So the menu will reflect that balance,” Joe Kindred told Eater, which described Hello, Sailor’s desired vibe as a “North Carolina fish camp meets mid-century Palm Springs.”

Lake Norman’s new Hello, Sailor is now slated to open as early as June, 2017.

Are you looking for a NEW HOME?  Search every home on the market at www.findhousesincharlotte.com.

Do you have a HOME TO SELL?  Save THOUSANDS with Redefy Real Estate. Flat Fee. Full Service.  Just $3000!!!  Visit www.redefy.com where Redefy Real Estate can help you with all of your Real Estate Needs!  Give us a call at 704-380-1213.

Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | January 11, 2017

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR HOME

  • Get Rid of Excess

The new year is the perfect time to streamline and get rid of unnecessary things in your house. One-by-one, go through each room in your house and take a look at the items in every closet/drawer/box/etc. Put the things you no longer need or want in a bag to donate, throw out or recycle broken things. When you shop this year, think twice about the items you’re about to buy. Will it just accumulate as stuff to donate at the end of the year? Or can you see this item long-term in your home? This will help you cut down on clutter in your home over the course of the year.

  • Make Space for Entertaining

Want to make more time for family and friends in 2017? Then you will need a great space for entertaining in your home. Freshen up your family room by decluttering and adding small but effective new décor, like pillows or a lamp. Feeling up for a project? Paint an accent wall to bring new energy into the room.

  • Start a DIY

Is there a certain DIY project you’ve been wanting to start or something that you meant to do last year that just didn’t happen? Make time for it this year! Start by gathering all the necessary supplies, then set a date and commit to the project. You can also get your family involved with the project and spend some quality time crafting and constructing together.

  • Clean Out Your Fridge

Trying to get your family to live a healthier lifestyle? Take the opportunity to clean out your fridge and pantry to get rid of food you haven’t eaten or will not eat this year. Donate any food that hasn’t perished to your local food bank. Reorganize your fridge so healthy snacks are easily seen and accessible for your family.

  • Practice Safety

Accidents can happen at any time, but the key is to be prepared when they do happen. Take some time to remind your family of the plans in case of an emergency. Check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers around your house to make sure they are functioning properly.

  • Create a Greener Place to Live

Make an effort to reduce your bills and your carbon footprint this year by reducing the amount of energy you use. Simple steps toward a greener home include, turning off lights when you leave the room, installing low-flow showerheads, hanging clothes to dry outside (weather permitting), turn off power strips and unplug small appliances when you leave the house for an extended period of time.

Are you looking for a NEW HOME?  Do you have a HOME TO SELL?  The Charlotte By The Lake Team at Redefy Real Estate can help you with all of your Real Estate Needs!  Give us a call at 704-380-1213 and visit our website at www.findhousesincharlotte.com

Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | December 3, 2016

7 Reasons Fall/Winter Might Just Be the Best Time to Buy a Home

Spring and summer usually get all the real estate glory with lofty accolades as the best time to buy a home—and, of course, the busiest. Meanwhile, their seasonal sibling, fall, often gets tossed to the leaf pile by potential buyers who might think autumn is just about haunted houses and turkey dinners rather than house hunting.

But surprise! Fall/Winter is not only a great time to buy a home, it might also be the best season to find the perfect property (and not just because you can browse the listings while cupping a pumpkin latte).

Reason No. 1: Lower home prices
The best month to snag a deal when buying a home? October-December. This isn’t just some random guess; it’s based on RealtyTrac’s analysis of more than 32 million home sales over 15 years. The resulting data showed that on average, October buyers paid 2.6% below estimated market value at the time for their homes.

For a house that would normally be $300,000, 2.6% translates into a $7,800 discount. Those savings are nothing to sneeze at, so bargain hunters should get hopping once autumn rolls around. (For an even better deal, aim for Oct. 8, when buyers get a home, on average, at 10.8% below estimated market value.)

“For buyers looking for a better deal, fall is a great time to make offers,” says New York City Realtor® Joanne R. Douglas. (In case you’re wondering, the worst month for buyers is April, when homes sell for 1.2% above estimated market value. The worst single day is Jan. 19, with an average 9.6% premium.)

Reason No. 2: Less competition
Like a beach after Labor Day, the realty market clears out as the days turn crisp. Most summer buyers have already found a home, meaning a fall buyer will have way less competition for the available houses on the market, says Bill Golden of Re/Max Metro Atlanta Cityside. And don’t worry about those buyers who didn’t close before August, either.

“Many folks will drop out of the market until after the new year,” says Golden, giving a fall buyer even greater room to roam at open houses. There may not be as many properties to choose from, but as Golden says, “a little patience and perseverance could reap big rewards.”

Reason No. 3: Worn-out home sellers
Say hello to your little friend, leverage. Sellers who have their homes on the market in the fall “are generally people who need to sell, which can make for better negotiations for the buyer,” says Golden. And if a home you have your eye on has been on the market all summer, you’re really in the driver’s seat as far as making an offer the seller can’t refuse. The longer a home sits on the market, the more negotiating power the buyer wields.

Reason No. 4: The holidays are around the corner
Not only are most home sellers worn out after the summer selling season, they’re also caught between a real estate rock and a hard place in that the holidays are barreling down on them. If they want to move and settle down in time to host Thanksgiving and put up their Christmas lights, they’ll have to close, fast. So use this preholiday window to your advantage by offering to help them vacate fast if they cut you a deal.

Reason No. 5: Year-end tax credits
No one wants to buy a home purely to make their accountant happy. But there’s a sweet added incentive to closing on a home at the end of the fiscal year. Come the following April 15, you might be able to take some nice tax deductions, including closing costs, property tax, and mortgage interest, to offset your taxable earnings.

Reason No. 6: More quality time with your real estate team
As the year comes to an end, fewer buyers also means you should have the full attention of your real estate agent, mortgage broker, real estate lawyer, and everyone else on your house hunting team. You can take your time to ask all those questions you have about earnest money, due diligence, title transfers, and more without feeling like you’re horning in their busiest season to turn a buck.

Reason No. 7: Home improvement bargains
Once you close on that home you found in the fall, you may want to upgrade your appliances. Luckily, December is when major appliances—refrigerators, stoves, washers, and dryers—are at their very cheapest, according to Consumer Reports. It’s also the best time of year to buy cookware and TVs.

So once you’re settled in (and provided you have any money left), get ready to renovate!

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As always, The Charlotte By The Lake Team is ready and waiting to help you with all of your Real Estate Needs.Contact us anytime at
704-380-1213.

Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | September 19, 2016

See What’s Happening Here

Davidson Was Ranked As One Of The Coolest Suburbs in USA

Davidson, NC just made the list of the coolest suburbs in America on Thrillist.com, based on the following factors;

1) A good (or at least respectable) food/drink scene, with enough places to go close to home to not always have to trudge back into the city.
2) Not so far away from the city that the commute is awful
3) A place with a history or its own unique elements that separate it from just planned suburban sprawl

Based on those rankings, Davidson was chosen as the coolest suburb in the Charlotte region, and one of the coolest in America.

“Never mind the fact that this town looks like it is the setting of one of Nicholas Sparks’ novels I totally haven’t read, and never mind the fact that the best basketball player in the world went to the beautiful college where you can bring your kids to watch basketball and tell them about him; never mind that it sits on a beautiful lake and has a Downtown that will make you weep with aesthetic joy, or that it is only 20 miles from Charlotte; just get the skillet burger at Kindred (it has infinity accolades nationally) during lunch, and you will understand. I actually might just move there by the time you finish reading this.

New Solar Farm

Cabarrus County’s largest building permit this summer was for a massive new solar array to be built in in Midland, NC.
It will be the county’s first large-scale solar farm, and one of the largest in the state.
Strata Solar LLC was issued a $3.5 million building permit for a 95.5 acre solar panel installation on a piece of land that was previously zoned for agriculture.

The new farm will produce 22 megawatts, enough energy to fully power about 3,000 homes per year. This clean energy will offset more than 1 billion total pounds of CO2 in our atmosphere.

They project that the farm will last at least 50 years without needing major repairs and upgrades.

‘Walburgers’ is Coming To Charlotte

Major expansion plans have been announced for Wahlburgers, the burger joint that launched a reality show staring Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, with new locations now planned for Charlotte and Charleston.

The restaurant headquarters is in Massachusetts, but the Wahlbergs commented in a recent statement that they plan to have more than 100 restaurants operating within the next several years throughout the southeast and California.

“We are on the road to bringing Wahlburgers to a city near you, we’ve created this family business with a mission to welcome families and friends from around the world to a place where they can break bread, enjoy some great food and lots of laughs.” Mark Wahlberg commented in the statement.

Mark and his brother’s restaurant inspired A&E to launch the new reality show based on the burger chain in 2014. It features all the behind-the-scene drama of expanding a burger joint to new cities throughout the Southeast.

The show has already featured an impressive mix of celebrity guests, including NASCAR favorite Dale Earnhardt, Jr., music legend P. Diddy, and even Pope Francis. Location not announced yet

Are you looking for a NEW HOME? Do you have a HOME TO SELL? The Charlotte By The Lake Team can help you with all of your Real Estate Needs! Give us a call at 704-380-1213 and visit our website at
www.charlottebythelake.com
news from Charlotte Stories

Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | August 13, 2016

The Goings on in Charlotte NC

 See What Is Happening Around The Charlotte Metro Area

North Carolina now ranks fourth in the nation for its solar capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and Duke Energy estimates about 1,700 customers own rooftop solar systems.
A local Charlotte initiative is plans on drastically increasing that number.
Solarize Charlotte, endorsed by the U.S. Department of Energy, “uses neighborhood relationships, nonprofit networks, and bulk discounts to offer prices for solar installation that are well below normal retail value.” The new Charlotte-based program is all volunteer-run and offers discounts on installations and connects homeowners to tax savings and low-interest loans.
They just completed a three-month campaign to increase the demand for solar energy in Charlotte region. “One of the issues we all recognized was that even as solar dropped in price, people saw barriers, the goal is to help with everything involved.” commened project assistant Michael Zytkow.
The campaign worked with a solar company, the RED Group, that offered bulk discounts on installations. State and federal tax credits cut the cost, and low-interest loans were used, reducing the cost by up to 75% off the retail price of a solar system. Typical systems range from about $4,500 retail. Many Charlotte homeowners have also started buying self-installation solar kits online for around $1,000.
Roughly 600 people showed interest in installing solar to their home, about 186 asked for proposals, and 24 signed installation contracts. An additional 89 projects are still in the consultation stages.

Davidson Was Ranked As One Of The Coolest Suburbs in America
Davidson, NC just made the list of the coolest suburbs in America on Thrillist.com, based on the following factors;
1) A good (or at least respectable) food/drink scene, with enough places to go close to home to not always have to trudge back into the city.
2) Not so far away from the city that the commute is awful
3) A place with a history or its own unique elements that separate it from just planned suburban sprawl
Based on those rankings, Davidson was chosen as the coolest suburb in the Charlotte region, and one of the coolest in America.
“Never mind the fact that this town looks like it is the setting of one of Nicholas Sparks’ novels I totally haven’t read, and never mind the fact that the best basketball player in the world went to the beautiful college where you can bring your kids to watch basketball and tell them about him; never mind that it sits on a beautiful lake and has a Downtown that will make you weep with aesthetic joy, or that it is only 20 miles from Charlotte; just get the skillet burger at Kindred (it has infinity accolades nationally) during lunch, and you will understand. I actually might just move there by the time you finish reading this. Forbes just released their new rankings for the best colleges and universities in America, and one Charlotte-area school has been ranked among the likes of Stanford, Yale, and Harvard University. Davidson College was named the best school in the south and the 25th best college in America – narrowly losing to Boston College (#22), Georgetown University (#21), and The University of Chicago (#20)

Lake Norman About To Open A New Full-Service Beauty Salon For Your Pets The new Harbor Point Animal Hospital is now set to be Lake Norman’s premier Hotel & Pet Spa in the region, with; preventative care, surgical care, internal medicine, dentistry, puppy and kitten care, emergency medicine, on-site pharmacy, dog and cat boarding, and a variety of grooming services that will be available from therapeutic physicians.
The all-inclusive veterinary hospital will provide a variety of grooming, medical, and cosmetic services for a variety of pets. The owner, like many Lake Norman residents, is not from the area. She graduated from the University of Kentucky and she earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia.
The new veterinary clinic now has a scheduled open date for this coming September.

Topgolf targets early 2017 opening for Charlotte golf entertainment center
Topgolf is planning to open its first Charlotte entertainment facility in early 2017.

Construction is set to begin soon on a site near Arrowood and I-485, at the Whitehall Corporate Center. The building will total 65,000 square feet. A Topgolf affiliate purchased the 14-acre site in a $4.4 million deal that closed April 18.

“The location we’ve selected is in close proximity to the airport and all of the surrounding hotels and offices,” said Topgolf vice president of real estate development Zach Shor, in a statement. “It is the perfect spot for a Topgolf venue, and we are so excited to offer Charlotte residents and visitors another destination for entertainment.”
Topgolf features golf-centered games and targets a broader audience than golfers. In fact, about half of TopGolf’s users describe themselves as nongolfers, the company said.

The Topgolf Charlotte complex will include three levels, with 3,000 square feet of space for private events and 102 hitting bays for up to six players at a time. The bays will be climate-controlled. There will also be more than 230 flat-screen TVs at Topgolf Charlotte.

Topgolf is projecting 450,000 visitors will use the entertainment center in its first year. The company will employ 450 full- and part-time workers in Charlotte, Topgolf said.

Here’s a description of the game Topgolf offers: “Players hit golf balls containing computer microchips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield.” The company caters to leagues, kid’s parties, social and corporate events.

Are you looking for a NEW HOME? Do you have a HOME TO SELL? The Charlotte By The Lake Team can help you with all of your Real Estate Needs! Give us a call at 704-380-1213 and visit our website at
www.charlottebythelake.com
news from Charlotte Stories

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Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | June 9, 2016

WHAT’S GOING ON

Charlotte Was Just Ranked One Of The Best Places To Live In America by US News & World Report

The Queen City is now officially one of the top 20 cities to live in the USA, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Our official rank was #15, beating out Atlanta at #61, Tampa at #42, Honolulu at #26, Nashville at #22, and even Charleston at #19.

The publication analysed the top 100 most populous cities in America, by comparing each one’s quality of life, value, job market, desirability and net migration. Charlotte achieved an overall score of 6.9 out of 10 (the #1 city on the list, Denver, only scored a 7.8).

The report comments that, “Charlotte has become a place filled with new restaurants to try and events that attract people from all over. It’s a standalone destination city now, no longer living in the shadow of Atlanta or Charleston, South Carolina.”

World’s Largest eSports Center Coming To Charlotte??

Charlotte-based venture capitol firm SierraMaya360 just signed a 7-figure deal with top ESL Team EnVyUs, and are now working to move their headquarters to Charlotte and build the world’s largest eSports training facility right here in the Queen City.

ESports is the fastest growing spectator sport in the world – it’s now projected to hit 1 billion viewers by the end of 2016 (1/7th of the world’s population). “The numbers are ridiculous, it’s going to be the 4th most watched sport in the world by the end of the year,” commented Jeff Brokaw, an associate with SierraMaya360.

Most of the eSports teams are now located in LA or South Korea. Team EnVyUs’ new Charlotte headquarters and training facility will be the first major eSports facility on the East Coast and the biggest and most high-tech facility in the world. “Currently, the largest facility is in LA at about 15,000 square feet – ours will be way bigger and will feature far more high-tech features – think of it like the Silicon Valley of eSports.” Jeff commented.

He also told us that once the training facility is built, it will draw in top eSports players from around the world, and would allow for a major ESL tournament to come to Charlotte on an annual basis. “We’ve already had talks with the Time Warner Cable Arena and we’re confident we could sell it out.”

The ESL currently holds tournaments all over the world, ranging in size from 20,000-100,000 people, with ticket prices ranging from $45 to well over $4,000 for some VIP seats. The tournaments usually last 3 days and bring in millions of dollars in revenue for the host city – similar to the CIAA Tournament or NASCAR’s Speed Week.

20th Century Fox Is Now Filming in Mooresville

Downtown Mooresville is now being flooded with actors, extras, and film production crews for the making of 20th Century Fox’s new series called “Shots Fired“.

The new show stars Richard Dreyfuss, Helen Hunt, and Stephen Moyer. It explores the aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small southern town, drawing inspiration from the recent police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement.

They started filming this week on Broad Street and will continue through Saturday morning.

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As always, The Charlotte By The Lake Team is ready and waiting to help you with all of your Real Estate Needs.Contact us anytime at
704-380-1213 or visit our website at www.charlottebythelake.com

Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | May 18, 2016

Tips for House Hunting in a Seller’s Market

This is great information for those of us that are in a Seller’s Market

A lack of homes for sale in many parts of the country is making house hunting a challenge this spring, especially for first-time buyers.

Tight housing inventories have pushed up home prices in many metropolitan markets, creating bidding wars for some properties, real estate experts say.

Real estate is highly local, of course, and trends range by city and by neighborhood. But nationally, home prices in March were up nearly 7 percent from a year ago, and up 2 percent from February, according to the latest data from CoreLogic.

The dearth of inventory is particularly acute for entry-level homes, said Svenja Gudell, the chief economist at the real estate website Zillow. “First-time homebuyers are having a tough time,” she said, “because so few homes are available.”

Nationally, 6 percent fewer homes are on the market compared with a year ago, and there are 10 percent fewer entry-level homes, according to March data from Zillow. Some markets are particularly tight: Portland, Ore., has 40 percent fewer entry-level homes, and Charlotte, N.C., has 35 percent fewer.

In other markets, the lack of new home construction is contributing to the problem. Homeowners who want to sell their homes and trade up can’t find a suitable new home, so they stay put — keeping their property off the market.

The lack of homes on the market has also helped raise rents, so investors who bought single-family homes during the downturn are making good money renting them out and aren’t in a hurry to sell, said Greg Jaeger, president of USAA Residential Real Estate Services, a brokerage affiliated with USAA Bank.

Buyers, though, may have to be patient. Kat Doucette, a real estate lawyer in San Antonio, said she and her husband searched for months before buying in an up-and-coming part of the city known as Southtown. Many properties were overpriced, she said, given the renovations needed. “I did a lot of research,” she said. The couple finally bought a home last August and are in the midst of adding a bathroom. Her advice? Know what you are looking for and be ready to pounce when you find it, but “don’t pay too much.”

Here are some questions and answers about buying a home this spring:

What can I do to prepare to buy a house in a tight market?

Get preapproved for a mortgage, so the seller knows you are serious, and make sure you have a preapproval letter, rather than one saying you are merely “prequalified,” said Tom Salomone, president of the National Association of Realtors. “There’s a big difference.” Prequalification may be based on verbal information given by the borrower, he said, while preapproval means the lender has run a credit check, verified your income and has authorized a loan for a specific amount of money.

Are there other ways, besides price, to make my offer attractive?

Putting down as large a deposit as possible shows you’re serious, Mr. Salomone said. And agreeing to requests that reduce hassles for the seller can help, too. For instance, if the seller asks to leave behind a backyard swing set, you may want to agree — even if your children are too old to play on it. “Let them leave it, and you can take care of it,” he said. “It may be advantageous.”

In areas with extremely low inventories, buyers may have to go further. Traditionally, a home inspection is done after an offer is made and accepted. Contracts typically contain language allowing the buyer to negotiate repairs if the inspection turns up problems. In some tight markets, like Seattle, buyers are having homes preinspected at their own cost, seeking to appeal to the seller by making an offer without a contingency clause, Ms. Gudell said. That can get expensive if shoppers end up making multiple offers; inspections can range from $150 for a basic walk-through to $800 or more for a detailed inspection.

What’s happening with home mortgage rates?

One bright spot for house hunters is that mortgage rates are remaining low. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.61 percent for the week that ended May 5, according to Freddie Mac. Shoppers seeking home loans, however, should be prepared to provide detailed financial information because of tougher requirements since the financial crisis. “Much more documentation is needed,” Mr. Salomone said. To minimize delays, he said, have tax returns, pay stubs and W-2 forms on hand when you meet with your lender.

 

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As always, The Charlotte By The Lake Team is ready and waiting to help you with all of your Real Estate Needs.Contact us anytime at
704-380-1213 or visit our website at www.charlottebythelake.com

Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | May 8, 2016

Charlotte Ranked One of The Best Cities

Charlotte Was Just Ranked One Of The Best Places To Live In America by US News & World Report

The Queen City is now officially one of the top 20 cities to live in the USA, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Our official rank was #15, beating out Atlanta at #61, Tampa at #42, Honolulu at #26, Nashville at #22, and even Charleston at #19.

The publication analysed the top 100 most populous cities in America, by comparing each one’s quality of life, value, job market, desirability and net migration. Charlotte achieved an overall score of 6.9 out of 10 (the #1 city on the list, Denver, only scored a 7.8).

The report comments that, “Charlotte has become a place filled with new restaurants to try and events that attract people from all over. It’s a standalone destination city now, no longer living in the shadow of Atlanta or Charleston, South Carolina.”

Charlotte  now has the second fastest growth rate of small businesses in the nation. 

The study looked at 150 of the largest cities across America and in the end, Charlotte ranked as the seventh-best city to start a business, beating out Boston, Raleigh, Houston, and Atlanta.

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As always, The Charlotte By The Lake Team is ready and waiting to help you with all of your Real Estate Needs.Contact us anytime at
704-380-1213 or visit our website at www.charlottebythelake.com

Posted by: Steve Lappin Broker/Realtors ABR | April 6, 2016

Your Home – April Showers

Usually, the saying ‘April showers, May flowers’ refers to the weather. In this case, April showers will be used to encourage you to focus on your water conservation efforts during the month of April. As you’ve likely heard, water conservation efforts in the US have been increasing over recent years due to increasing population and decreasing usable water supply. Because of current water conservation effort, it is important for each person to be aware of and responsible for their own personal water conservation efforts. According to Kurunthachalam (2014), below are some stats about water usage in the US:

  • Toilets use the most water on a daily basis (20.1 gallons per person per day)
  • Clothes washers were the second largest water users (15 gallons per person per day)
  • Showers use the third most water (13.3 gallons per person day)Because of the importance of water conservation, below are a couple of tips to help you cut back on your daily water usage:
  • Turn off faucets while brushing your teeth
  • Make sure your water heater works properly to reduce the ‘water-warming’ period
  • Don’t flush as much (If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down).
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks
  • Limit your showers to 5mins (or turn on some music and limit your showers to the length of 1 song)
  • Water your lawn sparingly.
  • An alternative to lawn-watering is replacing traditional grass lawns with grass alternatives, succulents (which require less water), a garden (which requires water but also doubles as a food source), or even using cobblestones or paving parts of your lawn.
  • Wash dishes by hand
    These are just a few suggestions to get you on the road to water conservation, there are many other options available to help you reduce your water usage. Explore these options and find additional ideas to see what works for your family and your lifestyle.

 

Finances – Multiple Sources of Income

One thing that just about everyone knows is that with life comes unexpected events. Though you may feel as though your job is secure, things can happen to decrease that security. Layoffs, downsizing and being ‘let go’ can all be difficult times – especially when your job is your main or only source of income. Because unexpected events can occur, it is important to have a backup plan. Below are 5 reasons that having an additional source of income is important

1. Risk Reduction – when you have multiple sources of income, it helps you to reduce the risk of being ‘underwater’ if one of those sources fails

2. Emergency Fund – an additional source of income can help you prepare for unexpected events that can and will happen

3. Preparation for the Future – whatever the future holds, you’ll likely need money for it. Having a primary income and additional sources of income can help you save money for the future. If your primary income allows you to pay bills and live on a daily basis, an additional source of income allows you to have income that you don’t have to use right away and can put away for future instances.

4. Utilize Passion / Expertise – your additional source of income can be anything you’d like it to be – from renting an apartment complex, writing short stories or making jewelry – the important thing is that it provide an outlet for you to utilize your skills and create an additional source of income. Because most of us spend a large amount of our day working for someone else, most people do not want to go home and try to make extra money doing something they hate. Considering this, it is a double benefit if your additional source of income is also something you enjoy doing!

 

Personal Interest – Summer Vacation

In today’s society, we put so much effort into work/careers that many of us forget to enjoy life. A great way to enjoy life is to take a vacation. Most people that work a full-time job accrue vacation time, however, many of those people do not utilize their accrued vacation time. Vacations, can be an important element to maintaining and improving productivity throughout the year. Vacations can provide a break and sense of renewal that relieves stress in ways that should not be overlooked. Below are some benefits to vacations:

  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased chance of burnout
  • Increased family interactions/communication
  • Decrease stress

·  Ability to enjoy the ‘fruits of your labor’
A deterrent from taking a vacation is that people often think that it can be costly. While the cost of vacation can add up, you can also limit your expenses for a vacation, as well.

To reduce the cost of your vacation, plan early – start now! Start looking into places you’d like to visit and then narrow down your location. The earlier you start to your trip, the more savings you can expects. Last minute bookings often tend to cost more. The earlier you start to plan your trip, the more you can shop around for the best prices and value. Another great cost-saving tip is to utilize online booking sites that tend to offer discounted vacation packages – there are a number of these types of sites around. Ask neighbors, family and friends if they have any suggestions.

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As always, The Charlotte By The Lake Team is ready and waiting to help you with all of your Real Estate Needs.Contact us anytime at
704-380-1213 or visit our website at www.charlottebythelake.com

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